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This website is dedicated to American tennis player Jennifer Capriati and her career.
Partly as a response to her difficulties, the Women's Tennis Association finally passed a rule that sharply limited teenage players' schedules. With her 20th birthday approaching, and feeling "sick of losing," she began to right herself and became one of the best comeback stories tennis has ever seen. When Capriati recommitted to training in late 1999, the payoff was astounding.
She produced some of the most memorable matches women's tennis saw in the first half of this decade.
The thunderclap start was a straight-sets victory against Martina Hingis for her first career Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2001.
Capriati successfully defended her championship in 2002 by holding off Hingis again in heat that registered 120 degrees on the court, winning this time after falling behind 6-4, 4-0. But somehow, sometimes harrowingly late, she gathers herself. Exactly what Capriati chooses to rage at is another story.
The experiences of Jaeger and Tracy Austin are cautionary tales of the mental and physical grind of tennis stardom achieved too young.
Capriati was both the effervescent eighth-grader who was worth million the instant she turned pro and the sullen-looking girl with heavy mascara and a nose ring who was in trouble with the law, first for shoplifting a piece of jewelry in December 1993 and then for possession of marijuana five months later.And yet, when a call is put out to a handful of tennis stars who've had a part in her past dating to her days as a child prodigy, their responses are immediate: "Call me anytime" "I'll be available after I drop my kids off at school" "On the road today, but here's the best phone number.Just find me." Billie Jean King was Capriati's doubles partner the day Capriati turned pro at 13 years old in 1990.She won the French Open that year as well, outlasting Kim Clijsters in a 12-10 third set. Sports Illustrated voted yet another Capriati epic -- her 2003 U. Open semifinal loss to Justine Henin -- the greatest women's match of the decade. It isn't always just the people across the net from her.She fell just two matches short of winning Wimbledon and heading into the U. After the match, Henin was lying on a training table getting four IVs. People have always had a lot of affection for her because they knew she persevered through a lot of challenges, expectations -- through everything." There is a distinct pattern to Capriati, all right. But Capriati's struggles to transition into a forced retirement or overcome being a child prodigy are not unique.The Everts are regarded as a tennis family that did it right in many ways.But even despite that, according to Chris, her all-in commitment to becoming No. Speaking now of Capriati, Evert says, "I feel so sad but I get it and her and what she is going through.By the time she was 17, Capriati had two stints in drug rehab as well as two Grand Slam semifinal appearances.There were still more false starts and lost years ahead."She desires and needs, I think, a passion in her life. "I should have been in the same situation she's in," Jaeger adds. A network of people that truly care should come up with something for a decent and good young woman." "She has this feeling of abandonment by the tennis world, but it's the exact opposite," Gimelstob says. They just want her to find some kind of peace." Capriati has help if she wants it. "Sometimes, you just want to reach out and scoop Jennifer up and show her the clouds and the stars and everything that's in the world, then say, 'You can actually have that every day when you wake up.